It is best to move the parts to be just touching in CAD. It is okay if the parts are slightly penetrating in CAD.

Either way, use contact and apply the force in the simulation.  It is best to have a small friction coefficient (0.05) to help stabilize the solution. Why do you think the surfaces are frictionless?

The solver will iterate the degrees of freedom in the model to find an equilibrium. This includes pushing the bodies apart if there was some small initial penetration left in the CAD model.  There is no need for two steps or a first and second simulation.